Tivoli Terrace event venue in Laguna Beach sold; it’ll become a restaurant, new owners say


Tivoli Terrace, a popular wedding and event venue next to Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts grounds, has been sold to new owners who plan to renovate the business and repurpose it as a restaurant.

After nearly 50 years, Tivoli owner June Neptune sold her lease April 20 to Laguna businessman Mohammed “Mo” Honarkar’s Laguna Beach Co., according to a news release.

The space is being transformed into Terra Laguna Beach but will remain open for the summer and handle existing wedding bookings, the company said. A grand reopening is scheduled for May 2019.


Company officials said the Terra name “refers to our collective home, Mother Earth, or terra firma, the natural and necessary nourishment we receive from our planet, and gives an identity relative to its cuisine — natural, fresh and native California cuisine.”

As a restaurant, it will have the same footprint as Tivoli Terrace but with some renovations. Its top tier will be renamed the Neptune Lounge after Neptune, who founded Tivoli Terrace on April 20, 1971, and coincidentally ended her run there exactly 47 years later.

“For the past 47 years it has been an honor and, most of all, my pleasure to serve the thousands of guests that visited Tivoli Terrace,” Neptune said in a statement. “I wish only the very best for the new life and business at the location that was known as Tivoli Terrace as they begin what I hope is another 47 years of success.”

Company officials said Neptune also is closing Tivoli Too, an event venue down Laguna Canyon Road and within the Art-A-Fair property, which Honarkar acquired last fall. She is not closing the Hacienda, an event space on a historical ranch estate in Santa Ana.

Plans for Tivoli Too’s replacement have not been announced.

Part of Terra’s transformation will be reintroducing Tivoli Terrace’s futuristic “paraboloid” rooftop designed by Don Williamson in 1957.

Williamson was an architect who designed many buildings around Laguna and directed the Pageant of the Masters from 1964 to 1978. The roof spans 70 feet and is supported at two points. It has always been on the building but was obscured.

“We are so excited to be adding Terra to our vision for the arts district and are thrilled to have discovered this hidden historic structure that is an important part of the history of architecture in Laguna Beach and Orange County,” Honarkar said in a statement. “We are eager to reintroduce such a magnificent building to our community and look forward to providing the patrons of Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters and Laguna Playhouse with a dining destination that mirrors the level of excellence provided by those organizations.”

BRADLEY ZINT is a contributor to Times Community News.